* Or how to put a rocket up the arse of your surfing, and perhaps even your life.
Waves. Weather. Coaches. Vibes. Equipment. Location. Food. Digs and X-Factor. We tick all the boxes, so you don’t have to. Here’s a list of European surf camps that will improve your surfing, and your life.
High Voltage Surf Adventure, Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands offers 365 days of sun a year and almost as many days of waves. High Voltage is located on Canaria’s east coast, within walking distance of a remote but consistent beach that is perfect for progression. Stay in the legendary Playa del Hombre, the 6-bedroom seafront accommodation the owners call “surf camp meets boutique hotel.” Add experienced, dedicated surf guides and plenty of like-minded punters all wanting to improve their technique and ocean knowledge and it’s a crucible for surf self-improvement.
The Salty Pelican Yoga & Surf Retreats, Peniche
The Salty Pelican Yoga & Surf Retreats have been welding the benefits of yoga and surfing for years in various destinations in Ericeira and Sri Lanka. Their newest venture in Peniche is a new beachfront house that opened in 2022. Now Peniche is no architectural or cultural hotspot, but it has a claim to be the most consistent, accessible and user-friendly surf town in all of Europe. To the town’s surf credentials, Salty Pelican adds unlimited yoga classes, meditation courses and surf lessons, making for rapid surf improvement and an enormous sense of well-being.
The Pig Dog Surf Camp, Sines, Portugal
While home to Portuguese Olympian Yolanda Hopkins (who gives lessons when she isn’t competing) and often used as a training base for the UK’s elite surfers, The Pig Dog Surf Camp strives to create an environment that teaches you to surf, and helps you grow in confidence. There are different surf improvement programs, from beginner to advanced each coming with a nurturing and caring environment that allows all surfers to challenge themselves in a safe setting. Oh, and there are waves. Endless, quality beachbreaks in one of the last, great, uncrowded corners of Europe.
Southwest Surf House, Hossegor, France
Since the spring of 2023, the Southwest team have been running two houses both within walking distance from the beaches of Estagnots and Les Bourdaines, Hossegor’s most consistent surf spots. And while being able to walk (or run!) to the beach is critical in getting your wave total up, the included Surf Guiding is crucial in maxing your surf potential for the week. The experience surf guides will plan each day around the surf, taking into account the surf conditions and everyone’s ability. They will then get you on the right board and give you a brief rundown of the surf spot to ensure everyone is comfortable. Add a top-of-the-line foamie surfboard collection, outdoor yoga studio and rock star chefs, and a week here can put a rocket up the arse of your surfing and perhaps even your life.
The Surf Experience, Lagos, Portugal
Running since 1992 right in the heart of Lagos, The Surf Experience has provided epic vibes, great surf coaching and good times for generations of visitors. That is because it provides a wide range of options for every type of ocean lover, including Surf School, Surf Camp, Surf Guiding, Premium Surf Coaching – Longboard, Shortboard, Yoga, Fitness and Culture weeks. Add the legendary rooftop bar and choices of townhouse, pensão and hotel accommodation and not only will you be ripping at the end of your stay, you may have some friends for life.